Workload Campaign - NUT National Ballot
The government's own Office of Manpower Economics (OME) has just published the 2006 survey on teacher workload, which measures the average teacher workload each March.
The survey reported primary teachers working more than 50 hours per week, with headteachers doing more than 53. Secondary heads do more than 60 hours per week and secondary class teachers more than 49. These figures are far too high, well over European norms. But are these hours now starting to come down? The OME's main finding is startling:
"The survey has observed no statistically significant changes in the numbers of hours worked by full-time teachers between 2005 and 2006."
So in the year when PPA came in, guaranteeing primary teachers 10% off timetable, there was no change in workload. Even the figures for total teaching time do not show a statistically significant fall. The raw data suggests a fall of just 18 minutes per week in time teaching primary children. Secondary teachers are actually teaching 24 minutes per week more! How can this happen?
Well, the government has consistently refused to set targets for overall reductions in workload. When they introduced PPA, they also introduced School Self Evaluation and other schemes that are generating more work and more stress. In 2003 we were told that the workload agreement would bring about a "sea-change in teachers lives." By 2006, with all the changes introduced, teachers are working just one hour a week less.
When the government is being driven by an ideological approach to school improvement, we need another approach that does not just rely on their good will.
THE GUIDELINES YOU NEED
That is why the NUT has published an updated set of guidelines for schools to follow that can reduce workload. The guidelines set limits for the number of observations, the length of short term planning documents, the number and length of after school meetings etc.
THE BALLOT SUPPORT WE NEED
Teachers are being worked to the bone, and it is not good for us or the children we teach. Schools are now dominated by an accountability culture where checking up takes precedence over learning. It indicates a fundamental lack of trust in us and treats us all as if we were permanently on probation or a capability procedure. It has to stop. That is why the NUT is conducting a national consultative ballot to ask members to endorse our guidelines and declare a willingness to take action, if necessary, to enforce them.
Vote YES in the ballot.
Let's get back our professional judgement.
Let's reduce our workload.